I know. It’s only October, right? I shouldn’t even be mentioning the “C” word yet, at least until after Thanksgiving. But in publishing, Christmas starts early. In the case of writing a Christmas book, over a year early.
Last year about this time I was invited to participate in a mini-series for Harlequin Love Inspired called Christmas Twins, along with authors Patricia Davids and Lee Tobin McClain. No huge surprise that they wanted me to write a Texas/western themed story. We weren’t given much else to go on. Our only requirements were that the twins weren’t all the same ages and that one would be two girls, one two boys, and a boy and a girl.
I was super stoked to get nine-month twins, one of each. I asked online and in person for the perfect twin names and settled on Hudson and Harper, a suggestion made by a fellow alto in my church choir, who has a niece and nephew with those names.
And then, just for fun, I added a couple of dozen dogs. As if two babies weren’t enough to keep up with. But oh, so fun to write.
I was overjoyed when I got the first glimpse of my cover. It was exactly what I’d asked for. I may have begged a little (okay, a lot) for Zig and Zag, the Westie puppies, to be on the cover with the twins. They captured the twins’ personalities perfectly—Hudson only interested in the puppy, while Harper is babbling at him. So cute!
Here’s the back-cover copy:
Christmas on the Ranch
Miranda Morgan’s Christmas will be twice as busy now that she’s guardian of her sister’s sweet twin babies. But the celebrity photographer is happy to trade a glamorous LA lifestyle for motherhood in her small hometown of Wildhorn, Texas. Unfortunately, the twins’ handsome godfather, Simon West, is unconvinced. The brooding rancher isn’t thrilled about letting sunny, spontaneous Miranda into his carefully managed world. Though they disagree on almost everything, Simon and Miranda discover common ground as they work to make the twins’ first country Christmas cozy and bright. Could this holiday transform Miranda and Simon’s tentative friendship into a forever love?
I love writing (and reading!) Christmas stories, and I hope you’ll look for this mini-series online or at a store near you. Patricia’s is available now, with Lee’s coming out mid-October and mine mid-November (but it really helps authors to preorder!)
Seeing as I’m celebrating twins in books, today I’m doing a double-the-fun giveaway. Just comment below telling me which Christmas themes you especially enjoy reading about. I’ll choose one commenter to receive copies of both Secret Christmas Twins and Texas Christmas Twins.
Hi Deb, very cute cover. It is interesting reading how much say (?) input (?) requirements (?) come from the publisher about what you as an author need to write about. Does it make it easier of harder to write the story?
It varies a lot between my own series books (Cowboy Country, Serendipity Sweethearts, E-mail Order Brides) and when the editors approach me about writing continuity books or mini-series developed in-house by the editors. Sometimes I have the entire story/characters/plot given to me, and other times, like with the Texas Christmas Twins, where there are only vague parameters. For me, it is harder to write a continuity, because it takes time to incorporate the characters and make them my own, but after awhile, I’m in the groove and the characters are as real to me as the ones I dream up on my own.
I love reading Amish books they are my favorite books to read.. I know the twin books will be great to read also
Patricia Davids is an especially talented Amish author. I know you’ll enjoy her book.
Wold love reading a twin book. My husband is a twin!
Sherri G says
I love small town or western themes. I’m looking forward to reading about Simon and Miranda dealing with the adorable twins. And did you say a couple of dozen dogs????
I did! Simon trains cattle dogs for a living and has his own dog rescue on the side, so there are nearly always dogs underfoot. I hope you’ll enjoy meeting all those “secondary characters.”
Paula Dye says
I love Christmas stories centered around kids and Jesus!!
Hi Deb! Your twin cover with the two doggies is adorable, so are the kids and dogs names. Looking forward to reading the story. Living in a small town in the Midwest, I enjoy reading holiday stories with a small town setting and snow. Celebrating a first Christmas in a unique way as a couple, child, family, chirch or town is always a fun read. Commits service or fellowship makes a good premise. Holidays are fun to celebrate in person or through the characters in a book.
I created Wildhorn, Texas just for this book (although I may revisit it at some point in the future.) There isn’t much snow in Texas, but I live in Colorado and love snowy winter days with my house all decorated for Christmas.
Christmas themes…..hmm….I like all Christmas books! Can’t think of one theme that’s my favorite!
Walter Daniels says
Considering that I wrote a story based on Santa (The Man Who Was A Santa Claus) about how it can change lives for the better. I wrote the book for the son of a friend (he turned Seven in June), to help him continue to believe in Santa, and what he stood/stands for.
I believe that SC embodies the Love of people for each other, and the desire to help them have a better life, with God’s help. If instead of worrying about who gets “credit,” we try to help anonymously if we can. Giving pleasure in that look of, “I don’t know who this ‘Santa Claus’ is,” but I’m glad he helped me. I’m not sure that helps you, but I tried.
Santa doesn’t make a visit in this book, but he’s made an appearance in many of my previous Christmas books. Like you, I think Saint Nick has a lot to teach us about giving.
I especially love redemption themes in Christmas stories, but I have enjoyed just about any Christmas story that I have read. These book covers are really fun, and I’m excited to read all of them, especially Hudson and Harper’s story. Babies and Christmas just seem to go together!
Lori Smanski says
your cover is so sweet and endearing. I love Christmas stories that revolve around relationships and Jesus. Throw in a little fun and a little confusion make for a great read. I would love to read your book.
I threw a mystery into this story that keeps my characters on their toes–and butting heads.
Jackie Smith says
I love reading Christmas stories and about twins! I was just at Harlequin site and drooling about the books like yours! THANKS for your giveaway…..looking forward to reading more and more!
Lucy Reynolds says
I enjoy Christmas books about second chances. The twins on the cover make me want to cuddle them.
I enjoy a lot of settings and reading books about twins. I had twin boys in my in home daycare. They were fraternal twins with very different personalities. I also had two very petite little girls who looked nothing alike. People would ask if the girls were twins!
The twins were such fun to write. They had such different personalities.
Shelia Hall says
I love the small town christmas books with a touch of romance
I love everything about Christmas, and these books have beautiful covers and the stories sound delightful. Deb is a new author to me, and I would love to win these books. Thanks for the opportunity. ?
Margaret Nelson says
I agree with most of the comments above :-) Since I live where it rarely snows, it is fun to read about snow at Christmas. One year we spent Christmas with my sister at Lake Tahoe, and it SNOWED for Christmas!
The cover is beautiful. I like Christmas stories that involve children being matchmakers for their lonely, single parents.
Nancy Luebke says
Babies are so fun at Christmas,and what fun and a handful at 9 months. If I have to pick, Id probably pick yours, second choice would be the Amish. But in truth I want to read them all.
Stephanie Behan Snow says
I love reconnected lost loves or western towns. I like soldiers and police officer ones too. Partial to te,as rangers . My favorite Christmas theme is gingerbread
Melanie D. Snitker says
That cover is absolutely adorable and the book sounds fantastic. I’ll definitely have to pick up a copy!
Donna McCoy says
The covers of the books are adorable of those twins. I have twin sisters, so it would be great to read some stories about twins. They are older now, in their 60’s, but they can be so much fun to be around any time.
I would love a chance to win a copy.
Karen Loomis says
I love secret/surprise babies and if it is Christmas that makes it better!!
Andrea B. Brooks says
My favorite Christmas themes to read about are families, faith and friendships.
I’m really digging Western themes in books! What’s better than a rough around-the-edges-cowboy holding a sweet little baby? I think for a Christmas theme, maybe the baby or babies can be orphans and find their forever home for Christmas? Wouldn’t that be a sweet gift :-)
I didn’t realize these three books were part of a series! I’ve seen posts about each one on Facebook, how fun to collaborate with two other authors for twin baby holiday stories. All the covers are terrific, but I’ve always felt Love Inspired had a great art department anyway.
Thank you for the giveaway chance, Deb! Blessings
Debora Wilder says
I have to admit that I just love Christmas stories. I’m not very particular about them. I do love it if there is a lot of “holiday spirit” in decorating, caroling, baking and such. Throw in some comedy and confusion and I’m over the moon. Twins and dogs sounds like a great combination to provide the comedy and confusion. I’ve already bought Amish Christmas Twins.
Thank you for the chance to win the other two books in this series.
I love Christmas stories. The covers for these are just precious. Thank you for the chance to win a copy of these books.
Gail Hollingsworth says
Christmas and kids just go together! And twins make double fun!!
Jenny S. says
I really love all types of Christmas books! Christmas always makes every story more special! Thanks